“IT HAS been two years since South Africa had a movie in the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival, which takes place on the French Riviera.
Although the group of South Africans attending the prestigious event is the biggest since the country started attending 12 years ago, to some it feels as if the momentum gained from Life, Above All, which premiered in the Un Certain Regard section in 2010, and Skoonheid, which premiered in 2011, has stalled.
But the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) says it is working to change that.
Foundation CEO Zama Mkosi says it is important for South African film makers to attend the Cannes Film Festival, out of the other festivals that take place on the movie industry calendar, because it is “international in the true sense of the word”.
The festival boasts a global presence that sets it apart from others. “You don’t have to travel much during the year, but this is the one trip you should make as a film maker,” she says.
“You can come here and meet and engage with players from all around the world.”
The foundation has a South African stand, next to the UK’s one, in the international village.
One hundred and fifty South African film makers are attending this festival, among them first-time festival-goers, who the foundation is trying to help navigate the event.
But the foundation’s biggest concern this year is attracting new markets and investments for these budding — and also established — film makers to get their movies made. That is why the focus this year is about strengthening co-production treaties that already exist.
“This is fertile ground for us,” Ms Mkosi says. . .”
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Watch Zama Mkosi discuss the South African film industry